Liberty Bell High School junior wrestler Damien Spears grappled his way to a crown at the Okanogan Invitational on Saturday (Jan. 27) at Okanogan.
Wrestling at 215 pounds, Spears pinned each of his opponents in the first two rounds and defeated Austin Morgan of the host Bulldogs, 3-2, in a nailbiter.
Yolo Paz (126 pounds) won his first two matches, then lost a 12-9 decision to Damian Sandoval of Cascade, and was pinned in the consolation bracket by Okanogan’s Joseph Kruse in the second period of their match. Kegan Mitchell, Soren Stevie and Rylan Burnette all wrestled at Okanogan but did not qualify for the podium.
Liberty Bell’s two top female wrestlers took the week off to prepare for districts. Coach Kyle Erickson gave Cassidy Jones-Mowen and Mariah Paz the break to rest and heal up before tourney time.
Maeve Belsby, Nova Gehring, Kady Hammer and Lucy Riggs all headed for Quincy on Saturday for the Bring Home Da Beef girl’s tourney. Hammer had the only victory on the day in her first-round match, but fell in a pair of consolation bracket matches. No other Mountain Lions scored bracket points.
The girls next head for Ephrata High School and the District 6 championships, which serve as a qualifier for the following week’s regional championships, back in Quincy. The boys’ District 6 tournament is almost in the neighborhood at Omak high school on Saturday (Feb. 3), leading to the regional qualifier, whose location has not yet been announced.
The State Mat Classic is scheduled for Friday and Saturday, Feb. 16-17 in the Tacoma Dome.